I can think of can I remind the House and bring home to them the grim,
bare bones of the Polish problem."
The Prime Minister then read his Statements of 22nd February and
2yth October, regarding the Agreement with Marshal Stalin in Teheran
and the subsequent negotiations in Moscow and continued :
*e The hopes which I thought it proper, and indeed necessary,, to express
in October, have failed. When Mr. Mikolajczyk left Moscow, my hope was
that he would return within a week or so with the authority of the Polish
Government in London, to agree about the Polish frontiers on the basis of
the Curzon Line and its prolongation to the southward called c the Curzon
Line A,' which comprises, on the Russian side, the city of LwOw. I have
several times drawn Mr. Mikolajczyk's attention to the dangers of delay.
Had he been able to return after the very friendly conversations which passed
between him and Marshal Stalin, and also the conversations which he had
with the Lublin National Liberation Committee ; had he been able to return,
with the assent of his colleagues, I believe that the difficulties inherent in
the forming of a Polish Government in harmony with the Lublin Committee^
might well have been overcome. In that case he would be at this moment
at the head of a Polish Government, on Polish soil, recognised by all the
United Nations, and awaiting the advance of the Russian armies moving
farther into Poland as the country was delivered from the Germans. He
would also be assured in his task of the friendship and help of Marshal Stalin.
Thus he could at every stage have established a good relationship between
the Polish underground movement and the advancing Russians, and a Polish
administration would have been set up by him in the newly delivered regions
as they expanded.
" I have the greatest respect for M. Mikolajczyk, and for his able colleagues
who joined us at Moscow, Mr. Romer and Mr. Grabski. I am sure they
are more qualified to fill the place of the late General Sikorski than any other
of the Polish leaders. After endless discussions, into some of which we
were drawn, on Mr. Mikolajczyk's return from Moscow the Poles utterly
failed to obtain agreement. In consequence, on 24th November, Mr.
Mikolajczyk, Mr. Romer and a number of other Polish Ministers,* resigned
from the Polish Government, which has been almost entirely reconstituted
in a form which in some respects I certainly am not able to applaud. Mr.
Mikolaiczyk and his friends remain, in the view of His Majesty's Govern-
ment, the only light which burns for Poland in the immediate future.
<e Just as I said that, if the Polish Government had agreed, in the early part
of this year, upon the frontier, there would never have been any Lublin
Committee to which Soviet Russia had committed herself, so I now say that
if Mr. Mikolajczyk could have swiftly returned to Moscow early in November,
as he hoped and expected to do, with the power to conclude an agreement
on the frontier line, Poland might now have taken her full place in the ranks
of the nations contending against Germany, and would have had the full
support and friendship of Marshal Stalin and the Soviet Government. That
opportunity, too, has been, for the time being, suspended. This prospect
has vanished like the last. One is reminded of the story of the Sybilline
books3 in which on every occasion the price remained the same and the
number of volumes decreased, until at last they had had to be bought on the
most unfavourable terms. Mr. Mikolajczyk's ordeal has been a most severe
and painful one. Torn between the love of his country and the intense
* The Polish Prime Minister,, Mikolajczyk, resigned in the normal way together
witix his Cabinet, and there never was> in fact, a resignation of a certain *e number '"
of Ministers only.